Blogging Tip: Some Links Good, More Links Better

To improve search engine ranking and direct traffic to a site, we need to increase:

  • External links coming in to our pages.
  • Internal links, i.e. from a sun.com page to any other sun.com page (yes, internal links are useful).
  • Links going out – these show good webizenship (search engines like that, or at least it’s good karma). Outlinks also show the world that we are members of a community, taking part in conversations rather than trying to impose authority.

External Links

The best kinds of links are those that happen spontaneously: when someone finds something we’ve written worthy of sharing, and links to it from their own site, blog, forum post, etc.

To encourage that to happen, we need to have great content, AND we need to let people know it’s there.

Don’t be afraid to advertise. If you see a question, comment, blog post, etc. anywhere, and you know that a page or doc exists on the Sun site that would be useful, let people know in a forum response or blog comment.

If something you read elsewhere inspires you to write a blog post or formal document in response, let the source of your inspiration know that you’ve answered their question in depth, and where they can read that answer.

External links also increase direct traffic, depending on the popularity of the site the link is on and the pull of the material linked with that particular audience. But, even when a link only nets a few extra visitors here and there, it’s worth having for the Google juice.

Internal Links

Some ways to increase them:

  • In your own blog, link to others’ posts and/or documents within sun.com that are relevant to your topic.
  • Whenever you write/edit a document to be posted, keep in mind the importance of links. Instead of just putting footnotes and references, link directly from the relevant point in the document to the source – these are preserved as active links in PDF documents, and Google recognizes them.
  • When participating in forums such as OpenSolaris.org, use a signature with your name, some sort of descriptor of who you are (e.g., “iSCSI guru”), and a URL where the user can go for more information, such as your blog.

Tips for Links

Use good link text that tells the reader what he will get to by clicking that link (test: if the reader had only the link text to go on, would he click? Sun’s own Martin Hardee explains some of the reasons why “click here” is evil).

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